Late twentieth century witnessed an evolution of new innovations and technologies in painting and finishing of automobiles. The invention of Automotive Refinish Coatings has been a significant development in the automotive market, and it has given rise to a whole new industry committed to research and development of refinish coatings, which are more effective and environment-friendly.
Traditional automotive refinishing coatings used solvent-borne technology, which was dangerous to the environment because it was high in a volatile organic compound, had a strong odor and released toxic paint fumes. However, the establishment of the waterborne technology has put all these environmental concerns to rest. This product development in the paint and coating industry uses water as the primary thinning agent, which reduces harmful emissions remarkably, without compromising in quality. It is as good as the traditional solvent-borne technology, which made use of petrochemicals. Apart from that, the waterborne method provides a wide range of color shade selection, significant color retention, requires less tinting, and spot damages can be fixed easily. Its low VOC solvent emissions and almost non-existent odor make it more environment-friendly and superior to the non-biodegradable technology. It is resistant to extreme conditions of weather, corrosion, and other mechanical damages. The use of waterborne technology relies on environmental conditions and pollution as well. It is used as a base coat in areas which have severe requirement of protection against damage from external climatic factors (extremes of temperatures, pollutant chemicals in the air etc.).
The waterborne technology for automotive refinish coatings is often accompanied with a UV cured coating. UV cure technique is an upcoming technology for the coating industry, which is non-toxic and free of pollution. This coating is used as a clear coat after all other paint jobs have been done. It cross-links (cures) the paint layer by a chemical process which is introduced by UV energy. The coating is converted from liquid to solid quickly. This reduces the time between the application of clear coat and final and buffing. It is efficient, as it simplifies the process, reduces the cost, and is also labor-saving. However, it might cause yellowing in the long run. To prevent that from happening, novel light stabilizers are used. They are used to prevent coating damage caused by UV radiation.
The rise in population across the world has boosted the automobile industry, increasing vehicle ownership by people. The growing number of accidents has increased the demand for car repair, especially painting and touch-ups. Additionally, there is a high demand for car makeovers, which is another factor enhancing the growth of the automotive refinish coatings industry. There is an increasing awareness of vehicle maintenance, unlike the old days, when the cost of fixing a car was more than buying one. Well maintained, vintage pre-owned cars are of great value in the market. Vehicle restoration and custom paint jobs are very popular amongst the youth these days. Automotive refinish coatings are serving an important role. A well-performed paint job enhances the aesthetic of a vehicle. There are several finishes that a person can choose from, like matte, shine, gloss, pearlescent, etc. It provides protection against chipping, which exposes the metal underneath to corrosion. Tiniest of abrasions can be repaired quickly. It helps in maintaining a uniformly high quality to avoid paint defects and adds value to a car before it can be sold, or just to preserve its value. A car can look as good as the day it was put in the showroom.
People these days are more ecologically aware. They choose to make informed decisions based on what can offer more to the environment and the overall condition of their own selves. Driven by environmental regulations and controls regarding emissions outlined by several governmental organizations, this innovation and change in the refinish coatings industry is a significant change towards decreasing pollutions. The Asia Pacific region is the dominant market in the automotive refinish coatings industry, owing to its rising population, and it is expected to continue its trend throughout the forecast period. China alone is expected to account for more than $2 billion in the market by the year 2025.
Very few latest technology are used in auto refinish market comprising nanotechnology to offer high chromatic and brilliant colors. Innovative polymer chemistry is utilized to speed up curing to enhance the productivity of shop during the maintenance of extraordinary appearance. Moreover, Axalta’s refinish group has established the technology of color delivery for precise color reproduction using Quantum Spectrophotometer. Complete summer Axalta sold it’s an about 50,000th spectrophotometer. For celebrating this achievement, the spectrophotometer was decorated in Starlite, which was Axalta’s 2018 Automotive Color of the Year.
Axalta’s refinish group has announced Cromax EZ, easy for using waterborne basecoat technology with the better capability of color. Cromax EZ is abundant for outdated collision shops who require to use water and need something that is stress-free to use. Axalta refinish group has launched Cromax Ultra Performance Energy Clear, a high-efficiency clear coat with an exceptional appearance. Exclusively, Axalta’s refinish group has been persistent in delivering novel products to their customers.